Denver's Bonfils-Stanton Goes All In for the Arts

By Ray Mark Rinaldi, Fine Arts Critic for The Denver Post:

Change comes slowly in the world of private foundations, and there’s a kind of comfort in that. Foundations are the bedrock funders of important institutions, like hospitals, universities and museums, and their dedicated giving is crucial to cities that count on their cash. But three years ago, Denver’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation took a chance on change. Long a contributor to causes across the board, from homeless shelters to opera companies, the organization began steering all of its funding toward the arts. Culture needed the money, the thinking went, and by targeting one area, the foundation could set itself apart from its peers and become a real player in the community.
Bloomberg Announces Public Art Challenge Winning Projects

Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge — a program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity and enrich the vibrancy of cities — has announced four winning projects:

  • Albany, Schenectady and Troy, New York — Breathing Lights, from artist Adam Frelin
  • Gary, Indiana — ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, from artist Theaster Gates
  • Los Angeles, California — CURRENT: LA River, from artists to be selected
  • Spartanburg, South Carolina — Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, from artist Erwin Redl
Arts Philanthropy Booming, Cultural Giving Rises 9.2%, says Giving USA

From Mike Boehm at the Los Angeles Times:

Americans’ donations to arts and culture rose 9.2% in 2014, the highest increase in nine categories tracked by Giving USA, an annual report on charitable contributions. Overall, however, arts and culture commanded a modest share of the philanthropic pie. Estimated gifts to arts and culture totaled $17.2 billion, according to the report compiled by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Although that was a record high, it represented only 4.8% of the $358.4-billion total.
New from the Reader: Review of Who We Be: The Colorization of America

Featured in the current Reader is a review by Lynda Turet of Jeff Chang’s book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, a journey through the nation’s relationship with race from 1963 until today.

Budget Agreement Allocates $8.3 Million to California Arts Council

From Mike Boehm, writing for the Los Angeles Times:

Gov. Jerry Brown has a reputation as a budget hawk who’ll pounce on stray spending he thinks could leave California’s state government with IOUs that its coffers can't cover — and he lived up to it Tuesday, striking a deal with lawmakers that pares $2.2 billion from the budget that the Legislature had passed the day before. But the hawk is sparing at least one mouse-sized spending increase that will begin to restore California’s perpetually withered funding of the California Arts Council, the state agency that makes grants to nonprofit arts organizations across the state.
Property Trust Stabilizes Arts Organizations in a Difficult Real Estate Environment

From Ruth McCambridge at Nonprofit Quarterly:

In San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, former porn theater The Dollhouse is no more, but it will soon be repurposed thanks to the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST). The building will soon become home to CounterPulse, a performance arts nonprofit that promotes risk-taking as a central part of its mission…Shelley Trott, the director of arts strategy and ventures at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation in San Francisco, sits on the board of CAST and was instrumental in getting the Trust off the ground.
Arts and Healing Discussion on Barry’s Blog

The week-long discussion on Barry’s Blog continues. Yesterday’s question was “What kinds of research needs to be launched now so as to make the case for the value of the arts in aging and healing programs, and how can we involve the public in understanding and appreciating how the arts are making important contributions to both quality aging and healing?” Today’s question is Who else (what other disciplines and interest areas) need to be at the table as we solidify partnerships between the arts and organizations that are concerned with the issues of aging and those concerned with the issues of how the arts contribute to healing?

Joyce Foundation Names Angelique Power as Culture Program Director

Angelique Power has been named Program Director, Culture, for the Joyce Foundation. She is formerly the Senior Program Officer. The Culture Program grants $2 million annually to support a richly diverse array of arts organizations in Chicago around efforts to build capacity, create important work, and reflect the community from the board room to the stage. Additionally, the Culture Program hosts the annual Joyce Awards competition, which awards $50,000 to artist and nonprofit partners from around the Great Lakes to commission new, dynamic work.

Barry’s Blog Arts and Healing Blogathon Underway

Barry’s Blog has invited a group of eight professionals to discuss a set of questions on the topic of Arts & Aging in a “blogathon” that began on June 14 with the initial post on Arts and Healing.

Dr. Julene Johnson shared this with me:

As you know, this field has been struggling for an identify for a while (at least in the US; less so in other countries). I noticed that you are using several terms, including “art and aging” and “arts and healing.” It’s quite possible that I’ve missed these terms in my work, but this is the first time I’ve seen the term “arts and healing.”

New from the Reader: Trustee Participation in the Annual GIA Conference

Featured in the current Reader, Trustee Participation in the Annual GIA Conference is a report from Ellen Michelson and Teresa Bonner of Aroha Philanthropies of a panel discussion held at the GIA 2014 Conference in Houston.